The Problem: Infrastructure spending amounts to roughly 3.8% of global GDP, equivalent to US$2.6 trillion in 2013, and needs will grow to US$3.4 trillion per year through 2030.
The Solution: Natural infrastructure (NI), in many cases, can provide the same services and benefits as man-made infrastructure and at a lower cost. A well-functioning ecosystem can deliver the equivalent water availability and filtration, flood control and shoreline protection as a major physical infrastructure project. Indeed, investing in ecosystems is often cost-competitive with man-made infrastructure investments for equivalent services.
Establish a multi-stakeholder group on natural capital comprising companies and key NGOs to invest in the protection and restoration of natural ecosystems, and to demonstrate the many business benefits of doing so, by 2020.
Years 1 and 2
Lay the foundation for the initiative up until 2020, and conduct corporate NI scoping assessments.
Years 3 and 4
Implement NI demonstration projects, disseminate tools for evaluating & investing in NI, and recruit more
companies to the initiative.
Years 5 and 6
Continue to support on-the-ground efforts, track progress and conduct outreach to scale up natural infrastructure investments.
Partnerships. Partnerships with organizations and governments with existing interests and competencies in NI.
Policy. To scale NI, policymakers should develop structures that catalyze business investment in natural infrastructure.
Practice and performance metrics
Number of companies routinely including natural infrastructure in their decision making.
Number of hectares under improved management, protection or restoration.
Amount invested in natural infrastructure projects.
Amount saved by investing in natural infrastructure instead of man-made infrastructure.
Outcomes such as quality of water or improved shoreline protection.